Home > Mac OS X > Apple Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger Review Apple Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger Review Eugenia Loli 2005-05-19 Mac OS X 70 Comments TrustedReviews published a review of OSX 10.4 Tiger, with screenshots. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 70 Comments 2005-05-19 6:18 am Apple’s guys are clever. If they GPL’ed their code they’d be able to dominate the world. 2005-05-19 6:36 am If they are so clever, they would. 2005-05-19 6:37 am Correction, Apple hires BeOS engineers … 2005-05-19 6:37 am It stinks! (“The Critic”) Connecting to any resources on the Windows domain is a royal pain. None of the servers show up in the browser. Have to do the smb://ip.num.here.thing, to which I cannot create a sensible shortcut (sorry, “alias”) to. (The shortcut to a what should be smb://user@server/share is actually /volumes/the.ip.number.above which is not ganna get you a drive net time you click it. And there is no observable way to edit the shortcuts (sorry again, “alias”) manualy. Had to type the smb://user@server/share is Safary and drag that link onto desktop to make a “re-mountable” link.) Geeesh, how apple-heads tolerate this crap?! 2005-05-19 6:40 am What a pleasent website, lovely design. 2005-05-19 7:05 am Yes, because we all know giving away your work is profitable. 2005-05-19 7:14 am An OS with a nice looking desktop that really “WORKS” as stated. Everything is laid out perfectly and usability has improved thanks to the coders working with designers. Others should take a hint. 2005-05-19 7:36 am Because not everybody needs to connect to windows resources! I am now microsoft free and I want to keep it that way, and if you think conectivity problems with windows are a problem of the “other guys” you are fairly wrong, the CIFS protocol is a mess and they even have bugs in their own implementation, if you do not believe me then ask the Samba devx. I change to mac at home for arround a year and will never go back. 2005-05-19 8:24 am “the PowerBooks and PowerMacs still offer less for your money than an equivalently specified PC” other than that I love the Mac and Tiger 2005-05-19 8:35 am Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but I thought Linux companies charged for their services and not their products, i.e. they charge for support and warranties. 2005-05-19 8:45 am Interesting, I keep track of my resources, I simply put in the smb:// followed by the details, then press that wonderful + symbol next to the text box; eureka! it goes in the list! 2005-05-19 8:50 am There is absolutely nothing new said in this “review”. It’s almost as if you people think you need an excuse to stare at beautiful screenshots of OS X. Will this website run anything that comes with OS X screenshots? 2005-05-19 9:53 am No need to worry about that, sport. I get to see all ins and outs of OS X when I tickle the Tiger behind its ears every day. It -is- telling though. Many people seem to be more impressed by OS X than they care to admit. This is what we call ‘unwitting testimony’, the writer[s] impart[s] more information than originally intended or presented in the article[s]. Here that could mean that they are not currently Mac users but certainly wouldn’t mind being one. For all the great stuff in the different Linux distros and the admittedly broader range of gaming options on Windows, some reviewers are pointing at the OS X UI like kids with a pacifier in their mouths pointing at that wonderful thing they want [and this is not a hostile image, it’s just the way it sometimes strikes me. Keep the blood pressure down, I’m not dissing anyone. Take it easy]. I remember the extensive and quite thorough reviews by Mr. Anand from Anandtech who just -beamed- admiration and pleasure at being able to work with this awesome technology. You could forgive them for thinking maybe they’re on to something. I do agree that to lure more users still, providing a broader platform for gaming [WAY better graphics cards], lower hardware prices [they’ve done a lot of work and the machines are quite affordable although more costly than PCs] and being even better players in the Windows environment [smb works awesome but I’m sure they can do way better than that] would increase market share significantly. But I’m not complaining, the work they’ve done over the last 5 years is phenomenal. I don’t hear too many voices anymore sneering at what an utter piece of crapola a Mac is and the people claiming the demise of Apple in no more than the next 2 quarters have been rather quiet as well. Apple, like it or not, is the benchmark. The cow will be compared to Tiger, Yahoo’s music business and others will be compared to iTMS, not the other way around. It makes the competition have to raise their game if they want a serious chance to compete. This is good for EVERYBODY. Think about it: Apple is improving the PC experience by setting the standard. Linux and Windows users should wish Apple all the success in the world. In the end, it’s going to improve their experience as well. 2005-05-19 10:25 am If you were thinking about getting some feline grace using Tiger, think again.. A few months ago I bought a Top of the line Mac Mini with 512Mb of Ram. Nothing spectacular but decent speedwise but very decent under Panther .3.8 I hardly even new there was a hard drive as this thing almost never swapped. So I upgraded to Tiger the day it came out, looking for some goodies such as spotlight, dashboard etc.. Well after a couple of weeks I am underwhelmed by how slow my Mini has become. The thing swpas all the time! I don’t know if it’s Spotlight index in memory, the dashboard or whatnot but this is definitely not an improvement speedwise over Panther. If you have a sub 1.2Ghz g4 or g3 with 512MB of Ram or less, tick with Panther. Take it from someone who is very dissapointed from his Rush to Tiger. 2005-05-19 10:42 am Have you checked activity monitor to see what is using up your memory? Dashboard is more likely to be the problem than Spotlight. Once Spotlight is done indexing it uses very little resources when running correctly. Dashboard on the other hand uses too much resources for my taste so I do not run it. It is also possible some 3d party app is misbehaving. Again check activity monitor and follow memory and cpu usage for a while. 2005-05-19 11:42 am Anecdotes are not evidence, but I found my iBook getting slower and slower with Tiger as well. Then I turned off all those Dashboard widgets I didn’t use anyway and the problem was solved. 2005-05-19 12:07 pm Strangely, I have just the opposite experience: Tigger looks significantly faster on my mac mini. Granted, I have 1 gig of mem and it might be the difference. 2005-05-19 12:10 pm im guessing here but i dont think spotlight is able to do searches over networked resources. while one of the things microsoft tryed to do with winfs was to allow it to search any available resource in a active directory domain tree, right? no wonder they had to pull it from longhorn or end up never shipping it… 2005-05-19 12:10 pm As much as it annoys me not to use Dashboard (as it was one of the selling points for me) to gain some speed and stop the swapping, I am willing to follow your advice and turn it off. I know how to kill it via the System monitor tab but I do not know how to quit the application gracefully (ala Command+Q). Any tips more than welcome. One more gripe with Tiger, this time about Spotlight. I have a lot of files which aren’t sitting on my Mac Mini’s drive – both for place and backup reasons-. I access this data via a local SMB share. Works like a charm in OS X. However spotlight will not crawl my data to index it, which kinda makes it less potent as a feature to me. So far Dashboard hasn’t been as good as I expectec, Spotlight is next to useless to me and TIger overall seems slower. I will concede however that the improvements to Mail (interface) and Safari (better threading when opening 20+ tabs at once) are more than welcome. 2005-05-19 12:26 pm ppl often mention the screenshots of X that look awesome… IMHO there’s a discrepancy between screenshots that “look good” and real word usability. OS X needs too many clicks to get stuff done, too much is just “good looking” instead of offering optimized UI effectivity … IMHO That’s the price for we have to pay due to the mainstream-ipod-itunes userbase apple is focusing on…. 2005-05-19 12:43 pm Interesting, many say that OS X has the greatest UI. Then maybe it is only me who notices inconsistencies in UI, e.g. windows with brushed metal theme and the other one?!?! How come …? 2005-05-19 12:52 pm number of clicks is one of MANY things you measure when your talking about real world usability. apple literally wrote the book on usability back in the 80s, and they are still lightyears ahead of everyone else. and you will have a hard time finding someone in the HCI field (that doesnt work for MS) that would disagree with that. 2005-05-19 1:01 pm There is no need to “turn off” Dashboard per se. I am not even sure if it can be done. Dashboard on the other hand does not load till the first time it is used unless some widget over rides this. Go into dashboard, close any widgets you may have open, and reboot. (You may also want to remove the Dashboard icon from the dock.) I feel for you in that you bought Tiger wanting to use Dashboard. This should not be necessary in my opinion, but there is nothing I can do about it. From working with it for a few weeks I would say that Tiger (not counting Dashboard) uses less memory that Panther. Java programs also consume more memory than they did before (due to the changes in 10.3.9 and up) but not an abusively large amount more. Overall I like Tiger, though I am still getting a feel for how to incorporate the new features into my usage pattern. I like the attention to detail and the little tweaks more than the highly touted features. Now I am waiting patiently for Q2DE… 2005-05-19 1:03 pm Sounds like you don’t have your OSX configured right. Under utilities there is a directory services tool. You can go there and configure Active Directory and SMB (Putting in your domain info and Wins/DNS info) I have found that with Tiger (Not Panther) connecting to Windows shares is much more easy and I don’t have to use the whole SMB path that you have been typing. 2005-05-19 1:08 pm I am contemplating getting a 12″ ibook at the moment. I don’t really need it though How does Tiger run on 256MB RAM? Slow as by the sound of it. Oh well, I shouldn’t be wasting money on things that I don’t really need anyway 2005-05-19 1:21 pm why are people fawning all over spotlight when QuickSilver has been out forever? if you haven’t used QS, just grab it and you will see why it is better than spotlight. 2005-05-19 1:21 pm No need to worry about that, sport. I get to see all ins and outs of OS X when I tickle the Tiger behind its ears every day. I gotta say: smart move on Apple’s part to use their OS codenames as release names, it gives their fans even more reason to get sentimental/romantic about inanimate technology. (I swear, the next time some ‘tard lovingly tells me the charming story of the Dogcow, I won’t be held responsible for the consequences). 2005-05-19 1:35 pm I have a Mac mini 1.42Ghz with 512Mb of ram and upgraded to Tiger and I’m realy happy with the performance, even with Dashboard running (calc, itune, weather, calender). MS Entourage is also running with FireFox for my browser and I see no problem at all. My experience with Tiger is better than Panther. I love spotlight. Connecting to Windows PC (WinXP Pro) is not a problem. Tiger discover my network PC on the fly and I can share files and printer that are on my WinPC. VERY NICE WORK APPLE. 2005-05-19 1:45 pm QuickSilver is designed for launching apps. Spotlight is designed for finding stuff. If you are using Spotlight for launching apps, you are missing the point. And another thing. A lot of people say they don’t need Spotlight because they know where their files are. Great, but what if you forget which file had something in it you need. Thats what Spotlight is for. 2005-05-19 1:56 pm The only thing OS X is missing is an ssh/sftp file handler. With that, I could use it for everything. As it is, I have to install KDE so I can use konqueror to manage my files across different computers. Apple did a good job with the ftp handler though, it was broken (hung during high loads) in 10.3 and is perfectly fine. 2005-05-19 2:06 pm Bingo! You’re absolutely right. I had to install Konqueror on my Panther install to make it real easy to handle ftp/ssh stuff. If only Apple could implement some *kio* look alike in the finder that would be good. 2005-05-19 2:21 pm Actually I find launching apps a good secondary function of Spotlight,works great for me, especially since you can also use it to jump to a specific area of the System Preferences. It’s probably the top feature I never knew I would use. As far as SFTP/SSH, although built into OS X would be great, you can try Fugu. Google for it, should be the top hit. 2005-05-19 2:39 pm Although Spotlight does work as an app launcher, you really need to try Quick Silver. It does this so much more quickly than Spotlight and coexists with it perfectly. (BTW, It will allow you to launch system preferences sub panels too.) 2005-05-19 2:40 pm “the PowerBooks and PowerMacs still offer less for your money than an equivalently specified PC” Less what? This is just plain BS. 2005-05-19 2:51 pm Thanks for the fugu info. I’ve been looking for something like this myself. This program looks like it will fit the bill just fine. 2005-05-19 2:53 pm I’ve got a mini with just 256 MB RAM and Tiger runs smoothly. Install the 10.4.1 update. It may help. 2005-05-19 3:01 pm I upgraded from Panther to Tiger on a G4 450MHZ. It ran ok with 256mb of RAM. Upgraded to 512 and it runs alot smoother especially when using Dashboard. Manage hundreds of macs on the network among many other things and it runs fine. The machine runs fast if not faster than with Panther. 2005-05-19 3:06 pm If you have a sub 1.2Ghz g4 or g3 with 512MB of Ram or less, tick with Panther. Take it from someone who is very dissapointed from his Rush to Tiger.>> Really? Because I put it on my G3 500/512 PowerBook and it’s just as zippy as the 10.3.x flavors. 2005-05-19 3:29 pm OlivierB, You may want to take a look at this blog entry. Using Spotlight to index external volumes http://veerle.duoh.com/comments.php?id=337_0_2_5_C 2005-05-19 3:31 pm “It stinks! (“The Critic”) Connecting to any resources on the Windows domain is a royal pain. None of the servers show up in the browser. Have to do the smb://ip.num.here.thing, to which I cannot create a sensible shortcut (sorry, “alias”) to. (The shortcut to a what should be smb://user@server/share is actually /volumes/the.ip.number.above which is not ganna get you a drive net time you click it. And there is no observable way to edit the shortcuts (sorry again, “alias”) manualy. Had to type the smb://user@server/share is Safary and drag that link onto desktop to make a “re-mountable” link.) Geeesh, how apple-heads tolerate this crap?!” What are u talking about? They fixed the samba client back in OS 10.1. I have used it on my powerbook on a 2000 AD domain and it had no problem browsing the network or shares when you click on the network icon in your finder. 2005-05-19 3:36 pm I used to use QuickSilver, but I pitched it off my system when Spotlight came. Why? 1) I can finally erase the distinction between lauching an app and locating a file. Why should they be separate? In both cases you have to locate something, in both cases you click on what you found and it does the right thing. 2) Spotlight indexes new files on the fly. I had to wait for Quicksilver to run indexing, or run it manually. 2005-05-19 3:43 pm if the indexing is built right into the filesystem, how is the file io performance when saving large files on the system, say > 10 MB?? As a developer, can I indicate to the system not to index the file that I’m currently writing to? 2005-05-19 3:50 pm I used to use Fugu for SFTP, but now I use Transmit. Transmit now has some really cool Widgets for Dashboard too. 2005-05-19 3:51 pm the indexing overhead is minimal, and size doesnt matter. what would slow it down is huge amounts of metadata, but we are talking about a small percentage of less then a second here. 2005-05-19 4:11 pm There are several ways you can mount SMB shares without having to know the SMB path all the time. Connect to the share and drag that share to the dock and you are done. Connect to the share and go into System Preferences>Accounts>Login Items and drag that share into the items that will open on login. Now when you login you connect to your SMB shares. Get more education on what you are writing about. 2005-05-19 4:17 pm From my personal experince each machine I have upgraded is faster/more responsive than 10.3.9 on each machine, PowerBook G4 1.33Ghz w/ 768MB of ram, eMac 1GHz G4 w/ 384mb of Ram, and a PowerMac G5 1.6GHz w/ 1gb of ram. Each machine seems more “snappy” than before. I know my family has commented on the eMac being much faster than before So I’m not sure if you are suffering from an odd Mac OS X quirk or some other appilication you are using is wasting system resources. I doubt it is 10.4 itself, perhaps Dashboard as others have suggested? 2005-05-19 4:28 pm “the PowerBooks and PowerMacs still offer less for your money than an equivalently specified PC” Resale value is a lot….a lot higher than your windows “slapped together” box. 2005-05-19 4:36 pm “the PowerBooks and PowerMacs still offer less for your money than an equivalently specified PC” This is the biggest bullsh*t I’ve seen in a while. If you compare a similarry specced PC and a MAC, say dual-Xeon Dell Precision and a dual-G5 PowerMac, the Dell Precision set up will cost nearly twice as much and the Mac is still faster. Feel free to prove it yourself. I did. PS: And how much is an operating system that actually WORKS worth? …not talking about Windows here guys. 2005-05-19 4:50 pm Agreed. I just sold my (2 year old in August) 17″ Powerbook for $1750. Most were going for $1650 on the low side and $2000 on the high side on ebay. I paid $2400 for it in 2003. So it cost me a whopping $600 to have a fantastic laptop for 2 years. Lets check resale on a 2 year old Dell shall we…..or maybe we will spare them the embarrassment. Resale on the newer iMacs and Powermacs is also the same story….very good. 2005-05-19 4:59 pm I would like to thank all of those who took some time and effort to share with me their experiences and their tips as of how to improve Tiger on my Mini. I think I will start by disabling Dashboard and see how that goes. Meanwhile I have updated my 12″ G4 800mhz Ibook from Panther to Tiger and have seen some of the speed improvements people have claimed here. Mind however that this Ibook has 640MB of RAM and that I did a nuke and install option. Not sure it makes a difference. Also, my Mini was installed using a simple upgrade from 10.3.9 I am not sure if that could explain some of the lackluster. A friend told me this afternoon that my 20″ cinema display could be stretching the Mini’s power as well. I am not sure I understand how this could be. Any ideas? If I still don’t get the speed I experience on my Ibook, should I go for the nuke and reinstall option? If so how should I backup IPhoto, Mail, Itunes? I don’t really care about the rest. Thanks for your help! 2005-05-19 5:47 pm Copy ~/Pictures, ~/Music and ~/Library/Mail to some external storage. This will back up your iPhoto, iTunes and Mail. The ~ means from your home directory. If you want to keep your mail settings, copy ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist. May I suggest you copy the folder ~/Library/Application Support/Address Book too? You may not want to lose your addresses. That should be it. You’ll now be all set to reinstall. I did a full install when I upgraded to Tiger and it’s been smooth sailing on my Powerbook. 2005-05-19 5:49 pm Many mini users are using cinema display, even 23″. But with my experience, anything over 1280×1024 is stretching the limit of the ATI Radeon 9200/32Mb builtin video. This is realy the LOW point of the mini. They should have included at least the Radeon 9600. I did not do a clean install of Tiger but an upgrade of Panther 10.3.9 and everything was running great after. Now i’m using 10.4.1 with no problem. But i’m not booting from the internal HDD, i’m using an external Firewire LaCie 160GB. THIS helps on the speed. 2005-05-19 5:52 pm Upgrading from 10.3.9 should be ok. I did this on my old G4 with no problems. Your video is 32mb on the mini. This should be ok with your 20″. Try checking permissions and make sure the 10.4.1 and security updates are installed. 2005-05-19 6:00 pm Am tempted to buy a Mac cause I want something different…but the only thing appealing is the OS. Come on IBM…up the hardware already!! 2005-05-19 6:44 pm Any chance they’ll be upgrading them to G5s? 2005-05-19 6:48 pm i dont think its ibm you should be talking to… 2005-05-19 6:58 pm hobgoblin – IBM makes the CPU chips. They are the ones, not Apple, that determines what Apple can release. Should Apple pretend to have something faster and make a mock-up (which doesn’t do anything) and install it in computers and say they have a 4ghz machine? 2005-05-19 7:04 pm I think Marcolo meant eMacs being upgraded to G5s. That move would be up to Apple, not IBM. 2005-05-19 9:17 pm If you were thinking about getting some feline grace using Tiger, think again.. A few months ago I bought a Top of the line Mac Mini with 512Mb of Ram. Nothing spectacular but decent speedwise but very decent under Panther .3.8 I hardly even new there was a hard drive as this thing almost never swapped. So I upgraded to Tiger the day it came out, looking for some goodies such as spotlight, dashboard etc.. Well after a couple of weeks I am underwhelmed by how slow my Mini has become. The thing swpas all the time! I don’t know if it’s Spotlight index in memory, the dashboard or whatnot but this is definitely not an improvement speedwise over Panther. If you have a sub 1.2Ghz g4 or g3 with 512MB of Ram or less, tick with Panther. Take it from someone who is very dissapointed from his Rush to Tiger. Hmm I have Tiger Server on a Mac Mini 1.25 with 1 GB RAM and an external 200 GB disk. The machine hums along like a champ, no awapping. Not bad considering it’s a web server, DB server, and mail server. Just my .02 2005-05-19 9:56 pm “the PowerBooks and PowerMacs still offer less for your money than an equivalently specified PC” Resale value is a lot….a lot higher than your windows “slapped together” box. I prefer “cobbled together from scraps” 2005-05-19 10:18 pm Gary – Just curious. Do you make your car out of scraps too? 2005-05-20 1:48 am Um, no, they’re not. They both find files. Applications are files, just like documents, images, PDFs, etc. Spotlight and Quicksilver are both extensible (you can get plugins for them that add extra functionality.) Quicksilver is still faster and more intelligent than Spotlight. For one, it associates what you search for with what you pick so as to remember often-selected files. For example, if I type just a few letters of a name, sequentially or not, it will automatically jump to that selection first the next time I do a search, allowing me to accesss often-used files faster. Spotlight has a few unique features that make it useful in its own right: it supports Apple’s renewed foray into extended metadata (check out the new “Get Info” window to see what I mean; you can now add “Spotlight Comments” to your files to help you add your own personal Spotlight search info to specific files.) It also has the nice feature of searching inside document files such as email and PDFs, which means you can find relevant information that has nothing to do with the file name. Finally, it allows for Smart Folders, which tie into the Spotlight database to allow you to collect related files located in disparate locations into one location. This allows you to have your cake and eat it, too: no need to needlessly duplicate or alias the files, and the files can remain in their original locations; especially useful in a collaborative environment. I like keep my files organized, but I still like both Quicksilver and Spotlight for the fact that they let me access a file without requiring my hands to leave the keyboard, or navigate through several directories to get where I want to go. They offer a shortcut for the power user, taking steps out of the workflow that allow you to access files quickly without having to interrupt your train of thought for too long. Spotlight is still new and under-utilized by Apple, but I’m sure they’ve got plans for taking it still further. I think it’s funny that a freeware application like Quicksilver beat Apple, Microsoft and Google to the punch in delivering a robust system that gets a whole lot right in finding files quickly on the desktop. I hope that the Apple and Quicksilver developers start to look at what the other is doing in order to continue to improve both to the user’s benefit. 2005-05-20 2:58 am Gary – Just curious. Do you make your car out of scraps too? I don’t cobble my computer OR car w/scraps. 2005-05-20 5:43 am Blah, blah, blah. You guys are missing the point. Does this mean that MS will support playing xbox games on OS X? 2005-05-20 10:02 am “I prefer “cobbled together from scraps” ” If you prefer “cobbled together from scraps”, it’s obvious that you’ve never owned a Mac and it’s pretty safe to say you’ve never used one either. So, why the hell do you feel the need to post a comment? 2005-05-20 10:24 am I am a Mac guy. Own 3 current Macs at home and run a company which is all Mac. So, it pains me to say that Tiger is a disgraceful mess. The number and severity of bugs is pathetic. And some of the design changes are Microsoft quality–e.g. the bottom of the barrel. I have no idea why Apple shipped Tiger when they did. They had another 2.5 months to bang out bugs before Tiger would of been considered late. Either Apple needed the revenue or they have some amazing Tiger-dependent products in the wings. I think it’s to make the Wall Street numbers. Nothing is coming out between now and WWDC–unless it is something small at D3–so Apple COULD of waited. Guess it’s going to be a tight quarter for Apple. 2005-05-20 3:11 pm It may as well have been written by Apple. I especially love the part about Spotlight that said “And because no search technology is ever perfect, you might get some MP3s by the Alan Parsons Project [when searching for ‘Project Xenon’].” Anandtech put it better when they said they were annoyed that Apple really dumbed down the search functionality in Spotlight, and named a number of gripes about the usability of it. And instead of mentioning the great new Quartz features, they mentioned how it was turned off by default in OS X because its not stable when turned on. I’d trust a balanced (well, as balanced as a former employee of Apple can get) review over a “TrustedReview” any day. 2005-05-20 9:14 pm ^^ Ars Technica, not Anandtech ^^ 2005-05-21 6:37 am Me too, the Mac is a far superior experience. 2005-05-21 9:14 am SMB works great – Exchange works great. I work in the New Media department of a big city newspaper, log on to the network without a hitch, use Mail.app to get my corporate email off the Exchange server – not a single problem.